Rodney Atkins

The Northern Lights Theater 1721 W Canal Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53233
Price: $45/$40/$35

Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m.

Rodney Atkins knows the value of taking the long way home, of veering off the beaten path onto that road less traveled once in a while. You can hear it in his music, in the lyrics of his smash new single, “Take A Back Road,” a song that celebrates that feeling of getting away from the noise of everyday life, really living in the moment, and getting right with your soul. And you can see it in the way he lives his life: putting family first, listening to that inner voice and remaining true to himself, and striving to evolve and find unique ways of expressing himself through the music he puts out into the world. It’s a philosophy he tries to employ throughout his life, and it has led him to some amazing places.

The hardworking artist gathered up a whole new set of colors when he set about creating his latest masterpiece/fourth CD, Take A Back Road, and he cranked the whole recording process up a notch in intensity. He wanted this project, his first in nearly three years, to convey and express some emotions and feelings in an authentic yet different way. Simply put—Atkins had a lot to say musically, and he wanted to say it in exactly the right way.

The East Tennessee native has an impressive track record with hitting on sentiments that strike a chord with the country listener: he’s had five number one hits from his first three albums, from “Watching You” and “These Are My People” to his most recent smash, “Farmer’s Daughter,” and he’s sold over four million singles in the past five years alone. His latest single, “Take A Back Road” is on course to propel him to even bigger heights with its irresistibly catchy chorus and easygoing, windows-down, breezy summer vibe.

The songs on Take A Back Road are undeniably relatable—from the sweetly honest battling couple who’ve drawn the lines down the middle of the bed in “Feet,” to the fiercely parental pride-even-through-the-tough-times in “He’s Mine,” the tunes are chock full of emotions that any couple or family in modern-day America could identify with and find themselves experiencing, and for Atkins, that real emotion is what he strives for in each and every note.

Though his new crop of songs has some edge, and the vocal energy may be amped up a notch, Atkins is still the same, hard-working, patriotic, rock-solid country boy that fans have grown to know and love since his debut with 2003’s Honesty